Emergency work after earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia: they key role of WALHI – Friends of the Earth Indonesia
In the past few hours, different international media have reported about the end of the rescue works after the terrible earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck the central region of the Indonesian island of Celebes (also known as Sulawesi), on September 28th. The official death toll nears 2000. There are 10,000 injured people and around 5000 remain missing.
After the disaster, Indonesian civil society organizations created several emergency response posts and WALHI-Friends of the Earth Indonesia took on the role of national secretariat. This collective effort is focused, for instance, on the mobilization of volunteers from areas near Central Celebes; collecting data and information from the ground and the victims’ families; and communication with the government about specific needs, such as air transport for volunteers.
Real World Radio interviewed activist Zenzi Suhadi, of the department of studies of environmental law in WALHI, who from the first day of the disaster has been spending 24 hours at the emergency post in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia. This is only one of the many posts built, just like the ones in the Central Celebes area.
The interview with Zenzi brings us closer to an extremely sad reality, where activism and solidarity open way amid pain and death to nurture the hopes for the psychosocial and material recovery of a people terribly hit by natural disasters.